now I understand the development arcs of too many sitcoms

August 11th, 2018

Thy local affiliate runs back to back episodes of The Goldberts every weeknight, a strategum that makes sense for a sitcom that’d been on for — maybe nine years — but for one that has a total of 4 years built up for second run syndication makes for a very quick turning.  So I believe in the past few months, I have now seen every episode of the Goldbergs (up to the current season, which will join second run in a fortnight) — a show with its definite attractions — a rarity in displaying a singular (autobiographical) voice — if maybe a tad sentimental and repetitive in the throw back “wrap up the small trifles in 30 minutes” manner.  I gauze a definite break off point in the near season — by design, lest Goldberg wants to follow on through his life.  I guess if you wish to run a show timed squarely to adolescence and to a particular decade, your best bet is to start when the main character of focus is in seventh grade — then you have a good six seasons available before the show stops making sense.

Diff’rent Strokes appears to have kept Gary Coleman’s character at a rough indistinct elementary school age for a good while, and then — as the discrepancy with the older brother (Willis) and step-sister became unworkable, made a quick leap between seasons.  The way they signified that he was now a teenager — if the shortest kid in class — was by having him wear t-shirts for contemporary musical acts — somewhat prominent in the opening credits we see Culture Club and the giant floating head of Boy George — and dropping the cutesy catch-phrase — “Whatcha Talking About, (Willis)?”  To compensate for the maturation of the once cute character, they had the rich white father marry and so bring in a new kid — notably shorter than Coleman — as well an older sister (the previous sister off to college, and never mentioned again — though when Willis went off to college, he remained in the cast and was still mentioned).  I suppose to contrast with the urban (black) experience, the new kid — Sam — was country-bred, and flirted as a part of his dad’s honky tonk country act.  But mainly Sam let the show have someone young enough to deal with those issues like bed-wetting and the family sitcom standard of being benched in little league by the coach dad in order for Coleman to dwell on heavy subjects like resisting peer pressure on sex and drugs.
Through the entire run, the show kept a discordant dichotomy in its forays to serious issues — where a full laugh track backed up scenarios bulimia and child predators — at least ’til the final act where the characters sat around to serve up the checklist of warning signs and intervention procedures and check off a line in the FCC ‘Community Service” filings.

Both The Big Bang Theory and The Facts of Life took off on a rocky first undeveloped first season, with the show getting a much needed (in the latter case drastic, in the former I don’t know the evolution) retooling at the second season.  It’s where the primary focus at the beginning of The Big Bang Theory is Leonard and his unrequited love/crush for the cool pretty Penny — where the show shifts to more fully develop the initially one note rest of the cast and give everyone else appropriate love interests to eventually marry.  And it’s where the obvious star in the textbook Asperger’s case Sheldon and his evolving relationship with someone just a little bit lower on the spectrum — Amy — is probably the biggest focal point.
The Facts of Life begins with a too large cast of students, so where the focus is on the administration (the male principal set off against Charlotte Rae, and their corralling of the herd.  It takes a retooling at the second season premier to focus on a group of four girls — most importantly the focus of the rich girl Blair with the blue collar Jo.  A looming problem is evident at the new beginning, where each season the show would have to concoct a rationale to keep the characters together — for the third season opener, they basically just recycled the premise of the second season opener — forced together as punishment.  Therafter, as the two older girls graduate, the contrivance stretches further with each season — Charlotte Rae is by necessity no longer head of the cafeteria that two of the girls wouldn’t have anything to do with anymore so opens her own place — and for one reason and another, spelled out in convoluted plot, the four girls end up working and/or living there.  The show runs though a few more seasons, and I don’t know the details after that because MeTV airs its one episode each morning and my scattered viewing started at the end of the its runs and turned over to the beginning — but I do know the final act of the series was strained and unfocused — as it settled off to its last episode of the standard motif of a marriage and the odd dimension of floating multiple possible spin off shows.   My best guess on when the show stopped making any sense and “jumped the shark” was when Charlotte Rae departed (seeing her role here not making any sense with everyone growing up) and so brought in a new matronly woman character to replace her role, and dropped some new teenager to keep that presence going.  Chugging at the end just as much as it did at the beginning.

 

when the stakes are so low

August 9th, 2018

So.  A special election in Ohio, for  the privilege of serving the district for the duration of the summer.  Trump claims victory, not necessarily for the Republican candidate who likely squeaked out a win, but for himself.  The tea-leaves from  the result point to Democratic victories in November, and you go round looking at what precinct turned out… all rebutted by, sure but they didn’t win, and in November the Dems will be trying to be winning a bunch of these seats and not one…

… all for a position of power that… does not matter.  They’re running again in November.  And sure, it’s not as ridiculous as the great Democratic pick up in the Pennsylvania 16th district — for a congressional district that won’t exist in November, and where the two candidates will now just jump to more favorable districts and probably serve together in the next House… but still, it would be easier if there could be a shout of “Okay.  Punt.  We’ll see in November” as opposed to any looming recount… just to ease the momentary impassioned partisan noise on what the election results signify.  I suppose incumbency has its advantages — even when the candidate didn’t have the chance to do anything much — so my idea does deprive the (narrow) victor of that.

The sidebar story comes with the Green Party candidate, scrutinized and looked over as a possible “spoiler” — whose votes apparently need to deserve to be all in the Democratic category — though, if you aren’t allowed to vote for a third party candidate when the stakes are as low as they are in this race — when are you allowed to do so?

But his point six percentage points that don’t quite cover the margin of victory but come close to doing so — why, it’s Nader all over again!

And, so he gets scrutiny over facebook sidebars, suggesting he thinks he has alien ancestry, when in fact he thinks all humans have alien ancestry and it’s not all that meaningful to the campaign.  Well, aren’t we all supposed to be Martians?  Not quite where he goes with it, of course — he has visions of distant planets and more advanced forms of life (am I being ablist there?), but skewer it nonetheless.

And thus, he becomes the new Stan Jones — trading “took colloidal silver doses to prepare for the Y2K disaster which turned his skin a bluish tint” for “believe human life descended from advanced life elsewhere” — this becoming the main things these two third party politicians are famous for… with the key difference being that Stan Jones at least had enough votes that he theoretically may have aided Jon Tester’s election in Montana.

We’ll just have to wait a few months to see if he beats his .6 percent… and recapture his lost glory of 3.6 percent (in a race where the Republican trounced the Democrat by 36 points, so the “spoiler” wasn’t a focal point — and suggesting that, you know… we’ve from 2016 and 2018 arrived at that core of voters whose choice isn’t Democrat and Green / whatever else is on the ballot, but not voting and Green / whatever else is on the ballot.)

when nothing much happens but still has the problems rising under the surface

August 7th, 2018

So.  What did facebook and other social media outfits just do with Alex Jones?  Answer: something a lot less than banning him.  They limited his platform in various ways.  In a sense, big whoop.

Still, it’s an odd rush, and a scary one, I’ve been noting in the Huffington Post in relation to “how they get away with it” — sly suggestions that there’s something wrong with facebook for giving “deplorables” a platform.  The demand now gets voiced by Senator Chris Murphy.  And, yes, you’re always in a quandary with some of these actors — like, to chime in suggesting a problem on this will gett you balled ino a giant loop from media matters of defenders.  It’s the whole damnable thing where you start with the statements “don’t understand, facebook and the rest can run their business as the must” as well as “and I don’t condone the content of alex jones”…

… End of conversation.  Especially since as of now, they haven’t really kicked him off — just… forced him to craft his own media ecosystem, which he already has done, and will undoubtedly still be able to do… and, so what we mostly have right now is a lot of noise from the insane Alex Jones selling himself as a martyr for fun and profit, and a lot of noise from the sedate Chris Murphy which is startling in assessing stray actors into one coherent mess of “bad”…

… Some of the conspiracies are fun — I get the feeling that the Lady Gaga — Illuminati symbolism was basically linkbait to drive up traffic —

… and it sure was cool to watch Charlie Sheen blow up like that, all high on Crystal Meth, wasn’t it?…

But then we have the ultimately ugly one — the predictable “Sandy Hook is an Inside Job” which… if they want to castigate some lines of it into “libel” and go from there on wherefore came the “ban” (such as it is), that’d make more sense… see here David French…  (We hinge on the old canard when victims become defacto “public persons” by fact of their undesired move into public life.)

But then we’re stuck on the “disinformation” and “hate speech” parts.  Judgement calls.  Even on the knee jerk “Remember Northwoods!  False flag!”  Imagine social media at the time of the JFK Assassination, America’s long favorite conspiracy parlor game.

… and the whole of 9/11 Trutherism, once upon a time considered a left – wing enterprise, (someone look this one up and tell me if Jones ever made an appearance on the Mike Malloy program)  and somewhat swirling off the sides of more legitimate anti-war commentary… to the point where a blur forms on just what it means to question an “official story”… unnerving.

To the extremes, Zuckerberg gets chided from those with the sentiment of Chris Murphy for his “Holocaust Denialism is allowed” comment.  Perfectly sound reasoning, as always needing the preface of “condemn such crap”, and I’m sure he’d just as soon police the boundaries and push it from promotional use…

But we land on “Hate speech”.   I don’t know —  I’ve heard enough rhetoric castigating the whole of anti-abortion sentiment as violence against women — plucking that issue up just because it was what Senator Ben Sasse was getting at when questioning Zuckerberg.

You use language of safety and protection earlier. We see this happening on college campuses all across the county. It’s dangerous. 40 percent of Americans under age 35 tell pollsters they think the First Amendment is dangerous because you might use your freedom to say something that hurts somebody else’s feelings. Guess what? There are some really passionately held views about the abortion issue on this panel today. Can you imagine a world where you might decide that pro-lifers are prohibited from speaking about their abortion views on content — on your platform? 

And no one’s gotten to William Borroughs.  Yet.

And, sure.  In absence for a market, something else pops up to satisfy the market — 4-chan decides even it has had enough of some of the content, so next thing we have is 8-chan.  And, nothing much really happened, really… with this one…

… except for a disconcerting comment from Senator Chris Murphy demanding a messy enterprise of the Internet be cleaned up…

Drones

August 7th, 2018

The future of political assassinations comes in drone-form.

So says President Maduro, not necessarily the most reliable of witnesses:  There has been an attempt to assassinate me. I have no doubt that this all points to the extreme right in Venezuela, in alliance with the right in Colombia, and that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attempt. I have no doubt. Preliminary investigations have indicated to us that there are various financial backers of this attempt on my life. They live in the United States in the state of Florida. Hopefully President Donald Trump’s government is willing to fight these terrorist groups, which are attempting great attacks against countries on this continent, in this case Venezuela.

Hm.  It’s the extreme right in Venezuela, in alliance with the not accentuated right in Columbia, and hopefully the President of the United States who toyed with the idea of a military intervention of Venezuela, will apprehend the Floridans in on the plot.

John Bolton, not necessarily the most reliable of witnesses, denies it all.

And I’m still trying to find this one that floated by on the news, but the military — also not reliable — say the explosion wasn’t a drone, but a gas leak across the street.

All very hazy when everyone’s suspect.

new conspiranoid force looks a lot like the old ones

August 6th, 2018

So today we have QAnon bursting into public view — a realm of conspiracy who have discovered the “truth” “They” don’t want you to know from an insider within the factions and fissures of the Deep State.   Wikipedia, as it flushes out what it is to say about it:

There has been much speculation regarding the motive and the identity of the poster, with theories ranging from the poster being a military intelligence officer, to the posting campaign being an alternate reality game by Cicada 3301, to Donald Trump himself.

QAnon adherents believe that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, and other high-level officials are planning a coup while simultaneously involved as members of an international child sex trafficking ring. According to this idea, the Mueller investigation is actually a countercoup led by Donald Trump, who pretended to collude with Russia in order to hire Robert Mueller to secretly investigate the Democrats.

Other beliefs are that the Rothschild family are the leaders of a satanic cult, and that certain Hollywood stars are pedophiles. By interpreting the information fed to them by Q, QAnon adherents come to these conclusions.

Funny.  During the Obama Administration, the Larouchies were high on this one random blogger who had the same premise going, but never quite made the same waves QAnon currently are.  Ulsterman.  See here for something
The group decided to pretend to be ‘White House Insiders’ privy to all sorts of ‘secrets’. To tip their hand, to prove that it was a hoax they used the term “Ulsterman”.
The group assumed that persons with fully operational brains would grasp the fact that an Ulsterman is someone who lives in Northern Ireland, not someone who works in Washington D.C.
They misjudged the stupidity of the average Netizen.

From the Larouchie perspective, the origins of the term “Ulsterman” is a selling point and a tell… at war with the British… whether or not that’s intentional (and they don’t necessarily have to be selling to the Larouche Movement precisely).
A bit more here.

The echoing of some of QAnon’s fixation from past conspiratorial tropes the Larocuhies jammed themselves into — that whole “pedophile ring” — I was listening to a small dip of the Jim Bohannon show, an am talk radio mainstay for the past several decades, as I was passing by quickly on the radio dial.  What I hear is a woman caller, who charges in “But… George Bush and the CIA brought in call boys to the white house.”
The caller is immediately cut off, with Jim Bohannon calling out “What a load of Poppy cock!”  His guest goes on about having worked with “Poppa Bush” as an honest and decent person.
And it all goes out there, to be rehashed decades later.

Curious… Does this conspiratorial blogger
have second thoughts on sourcing
due to recent relations?

Wherefor the Zeitgeist  Movement, another seller of those “Secrets Known Only By the Elite”?  In cold storage?  Or just occasionally working the wikipedia article?
Okay, fine.  Zeitgeist marches on… though… looking up its “movement” in my city, it seems to be on empty.

NUMBER TWO:  Nick Benton looks at the Larouche Org’s current Trump support, moving back to a previous comment made in his review of the Scientology movie about purported CIA creation of the mass of 70s era cults.
Proceeds with the Russian — Larouche vortex point, dating it back to… hm… when the org was aimed against the Soviet threat.

Under the guise of the “detente” negotiated between Nixon and Brezhnev, as the brilliant investigative journalist Robert I. Friedman first documented in articles for the Village Voice and then his book, “Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America” (Little, Brown and Co., 2000), the compact involved the emigration of tens of thousands of Russians to the U.S. under the guise of human rights.
But those Brezhnev allowed to emigrate were the worst criminals and thugs of Russian cultural black markets. Once in the U.S., they organized into what became the Russian Mafia which, among other things, was available to the U.S. right wing for all sorts of mayhem against the civil rights movement.
Muscling in on the Italian mafia in New York, this is when Moscow’s thugs first met and started doing business with (including blackmailing) the hedonistic playboy Trump.
Nixon, Hoover and their masters let this ride through the 1970s to thoroughly rout the “left” and spin the inner cities and “counterculture” into self-destructive drug use and radical hedonism. In this context, the leftist LaRouche cult was redirected from within to roughly align with a burgeoning far right swollen by the politicization of Christian fundamentalist churches.
Puzzled politicians thought the LaRouche operation was the work of the CIA, a faction of which might have had a hand. Others, like the late Georgia Rep. Larry McDonald, insisted it was the KGB. In hindsight, he was the more accurate.

NUMBER THREE:  All right.  Here’s the current narrative.

Make no mistake. This is the greatest threat to the hegemony of the British financial empire in the entirety of its existence. What makes this fight winnable, is that in the combination of Russia, China and the United States we see a totality of power which has the means to see this reorientation of world affairs through. Alexander Hamilton and George Washington did not possess the power to dismantle the British Empire. Neither did Abraham Lincoln. FDR might have accomplished it, if he had lived, but even FDR lacked the strategic partners so crucial to such an undertaking. In the combination of Trump’s America, Putin’s Russia and Xi’s China, a power exists to remake the world.

Do the British possess the means to defeat this? No, if the people of the United States enter the battle in increasing numbers to defend the Trump Presidency and push this process forward. It is true that the British possess dangerous weapons. They control the major news media; they currently have hegemony within the intelligence community; and they can deploy the financial power of the City of London and Wall Street. But they are up against the Presidents of the three most powerful nations on the planet. They are losing, and they are becoming more desperate.

Trump still feels the need to suggest he’s being “tough” on Russia and thus Russia may be meddling to help the Democrats — whatever else you can say about his performances in NATO and summiting with Putin.  And we’ve had the promise of a good old fashioned trade war on our hands with China, with the suggestion from some Trump supporters that China relented, woo!.

And, the current historical narrative…  In 1988, my husband Lyndon LaRouche, having foresight that the Wall was coming down soon, proposed the soon-to-happen reunification of Germany with …

History posits differently.

No account of anti-Semites’ invective against ADL would be complete without mention of Lyndon LaRouche, the paranoid conspiracy theorist, perennial presidential candidate, and felon who is now in his 90s.

NUMBER FOUR:  Who is Who?

Texas Pride.  Brian Lantz, senior executive of the Houston-based Executive Intelligence Review of the Schiller Institute, said that Texas has unique western culture in the United States. “Today here we are finding about China’s west,” he said. “I think it’s a fun dialogue, each people learning about the other.”

Praising Xi:   William Jones, Washington Bureau chief of the U.S. publication Executive Intelligence Review, […]   “President Xi has placed a premium on the dialogue of cultures, emphasizing a greater spread of each other’s cultural achievements for the world to see. The idea of a community of shared destiny implies also the universality of human culture, although this may be expressed in different languages and in different art-forms,”…
Echoing Xi Thought.

NUMBER FIVE:

China’s Belt and Road initiative has found a new friend in the Schiller Institute

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the German-based think tank, said that one of the institute’s main ideas is that “peace and order in the world would only function if each nation would relate to the best cultural tradition of the others and vice versa.”
She argued that while countries want to protect their borders, the Western values of democracy and human rights are being forgotten in the refugee crisis as there has been “a deadening of compassion, and a lack of value for human life.”
And China’s government provides the model to fix all that.  GOTCHA!

But, just a little bit curious about the writer of such pieces — and see too here — Roalie Falla who — has so far just those two articles  and a twitter notice for… what now?  Global Times?

Although the Chinese-language version has been accused of having a strong pro-government slant,[5] and of attracting a strongly nationalistic readership,[9][10] the English-language version has been described by one of its editors as taking a less strident approach.[11] The English-language edition also contains approximately 20 “foreign experts”, who are involved with assigning stories and copyediting, “as long as the coverage is not about politics”.[12]

NUMBER SIX:

Robert Hockett of Pierre, South Dakota stumps for Ron Wieczorek — to the Occupy battle line against the 1 percent, and the names of Lincoln, FDR, and JFK.
Who is “I’m a Democrat in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, and a Republican in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Garfield and William McKinley,” he told the Press & Dakotan Monday.
Andrew Garfield?
Wieczorek, who is a farmer and former implement dealer, ran for statewide office in the 1990s as a Democrat. Besides being a Larouche supporter, he says he’s a John Kennedy-Franklin Roosevelt Democrat and an Abraham Lincoln-Dwight Eisenhower Republican.
Just naming as many as you can think of, I suppose.
It’s an odd attempt to feed into the Trump narrative the Larouche narrative.  Makes for a rough fit, but I’m sure some Trump supporters will miss the line — Them, I guess.
His general election best is 3.54%.  We’ll see if he can top that.

Kesha Rogers runs against the ghost — and successes of– her previous campaigns, which get citations as “embarrassing to the party” primary outcomes in reference to more current “embarrassing to the party” primary outcomes.   (We’ll see if she retains the footnote traction of her 1986 Illinois upset brethren, who pop up in discourse like this and this even though Kesha Rogers provides a more recent example.) Otherwise, she’s cited as an also-run, even in features on other also-run message based campaigns for the same office.

Michael Hodgkiss is still edged away by his competitor Rocky De La Fuente, who has the clever strategy of running for a bunch of races across the state at once — and in perenial candidate land, we see GoodSpaceGuy is still at it, running on the Larouchian “colonize space” platform, but without the Larouche endorsement.  Of course, then again, Hodgkiss has the fuller Larouche platform and he’s not getting any endorsement.  Not good at supporting their first time candidates?

Australian media sometimes just drops the candidate in their round up.  Labor will contest the seat with candidates from the Animal Justice Party, Liberal Democrats, Sustainable Australia, the Australian Mental Health Party, Australian People’s Party, the Greens, Science Party, Australian Christians, Australian Liberty Alliance, Citizens Electoral Council, and four independents.

NUMBER SEVEN:  The colorful who’s who gallery of Manafort’s current location.

“The professionals at the Alexandria Detention Center are very familiar with housing high-profile defendants including foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors,” he wrote in an order released Wednesday. “All these defendants were housed safely in Alexandria pending their respective trials and defendant’s experience at the Alexandria Detention Center will presumably be no different.”
Among those spies was FBI agent turned Soviet mole Robert Hanssen. He was bumped to a smaller cell after trial to make way for Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person tried in U.S. court for involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
CIA spies Aldrich Ames and Harold James Nicholson were also held in Alexandria. So was New York Times reporter Judith Miller when she refused to cooperate with prosecutors in a leak investigation. United Way of America chief William Aramony and extremist politician Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. both faced fraud charges while incarcerated in the jail.

NUMBER EIGHT:

Dateline Jersey
Singers from the Schiller Institute New York City Chorus sang renditions of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Battle Cry of Freedom,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” and “Chester,” a hymn sung during the American Revolutionary War.
Carving a cultural niche for community events, I suppose.

Dateline New Jersey.  Outside a mall with the current
CHINA — USA — RUSSIA UNITED material.  And noted by the media as … Right wing!

Dateline Greenwich
A sextagenarian couple, Judy and Donald Clark, manned the stand, covered in packets and magazines from the LaRouche PAC. The Clarks, no strangers to Greenwich sidewalk politics, were previewing a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Lawrence Society. The couple previously came to Greenwich in March and last year.
[…][wearing a “MAGA Hat]  “Just remember, this is the year of the Donald!”

NUMBER NINE:  EIR article cited.

Today, the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU), headed by internationally prominent economist Dr. Natalia Vitrenko, won their appeal…

 

picking your opponent

August 4th, 2018

Sort of a familiar political ad strategy — where the same pac or political opponent runs roughly the same message they’d be airing in the general election in the primary election to aid the candidate they think has the most narrow appeal…

“Meet progressive Brent Welder, community organizer, friend to Barack Obama and ally of Bernie Sanders. Welder wants to bring Obama-Sanders progressivism to Kansas,” a cheery female narrator says at the beginning of the 30-second ad. “He’d raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, wipe out tax breaks for big corporations, make college completely free. And he supports single-payer Medicare for All.”

Only then does the narrator get to the rub: “We don’t need more Obama-Sanders progressivism. Brent Welder. Too progressive for Kansas.” 

You do have to spot-light the means in which Obama gets tied to Bernie — even as Bernie represented some form of rebuke to Obama (who was part of the Hillary clearing national party push), and slowly we start seeing the march of a contingent of political elite who’d slide Obama as “Socialist” or something of the kind come to a measuring-stick in opposition to a populist stature of Trump and Sanders — ’round about trade issues, and some foreign policy… and particularly in Trump’s case, just general boorishness…

— See Max Boot as representative of the “Never Trumpers”, and keep away with a ten foot pole…

For the general election, the cherry voice will be turned sinister.  The word “Progressive” will be turned to “Socialist” — float the image image of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  morphing into Hugo Chavez, maybe?… Dunno if they’d stick with Obama, who probably has acquired enough of a vague out of limelight positive imprint beyond the partisans they hope to attract in the primary and keep horded in the general.